One of the big issues with sustainable energy systems is how to store electricity that’s generated from wind, solar and waves.
One of the big issues with sustainable energy systems is how to store electricity that’s generated from wind, solar and waves. At present, no existing technology provides large-scale storage and energy retrieval for sustainable energy at a low financial and environmental cost.
Engineered electroactive microbes could be part of the solution; these microbes are capable of borrowing an electron from solar or wind electricity and using the energy to break apart carbon dioxide molecules from the air. The microbes can then take the carbon atoms to make biofuels, such as isobutanol or propanol, that could be burned in a generator or added to gasoline, for example.
“We think biology plays a significant role in creating a sustainable energy infrastructure,” said Buz Barstow, assistant professor of biological and environmental engineering. “Some roles will be supporting roles and some will be major roles, and we’re trying to find all of those places where biology can work.”
Barstow is the senior author of “Electrical Energy Storage With Engineered Biological Systems,” published May 3 in the Journal of Biological Engineering.
Read more at Cornell University
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